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The 2014 All-Europe Research Team: Household & Personal Care Products, No. 2: Harold Thompson & team

< The 2014 All-Europe Research Team
Harold Thompson & team
Deutsche Bank
First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 9

Team debut: 2005

Capturing second place for a fourth straight year, Deutsche Bank’s Harold Thompson–led crew covers seven household and personal care products companies from a base in London. Thompson “gives a far more pragmatic and impartial view of these companies and their stocks than most European analysts,” cheers one U.S.-based advocate. The team leader is counseling clients to take the sector seriously. “At a time when consumer staples — that is, defensives — are out of favor for a variety of reasons, [including] valuation, rising bond yields, and emerging-markets concerns,” he notes, “we continue to advise buying into the HPC companies, which have most of their performance under their control.” The sector outdistanced the broad market by 9.6 percentage points last year, rising 27.7 percent. Germany’s Beiersdorf and England’s Reckitt Benckiser Group offer the best ways to play the space, he adds. Nivea skin care maker Beiersdorf will see returns improve significantly over the next three to five years, Thompson projects, under the stewardship of Stefan Heidenreich, chief executive since April 2012. At multinational consumer goods company RB Group, margin expansion will likely continue, he contends, after a one-year pause to account for a major investment in the brand.

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